Colorado Mesa University students resoundingly confirmed they want another year from Student Body President Ben Linzey as he won a landslide victory Friday.

The election was announced by Election Chair Jake Carmin at 5 p.m. with Linzey and Gabby Gile winning 342 more votes than opponents Carly Hanley and Libby Bierbaum.

Linzey and Gile received 558 votes, 72 percent of the vote, while Hanley and Bierbaum received 216 votes, 28 percent of the vote. Voter turnout was lower than last year. There were 784 votes this year compared to 2016’s 820 votes.

Supporters celebrate with Linzey and Gile as they receive victory confirmation. Andrew Kiser | Criterion

Despite their loss, the Hanley/Bierbaum campaign spent over $350 more than the winning ticket. At the end of the campaign, the Hanley/Bierbaum camp spent $676.62 while Linzey/Gile spent $323.46.

Linzey was informed of his victory at a celebration with campaign supporters at Wingate Hall.

“I didn’t intend to step into this position this past year, but it’s been a good experience so far,” Linzey said. “It’ll be cool to keep going on with what we’ve started now and build off of the foundation we’ve started this past semester.”

First-year senator Gile will be promoted to the vice president position next year, previously held by Carmin. Gile had been in ASG for one semester prior to the election.

“I have a lot of work ahead of me,” Gile said. “I’m really excited for the task and I’m super excited to work with all of the senators next year as well as the students and all of our lovely organizations and clubs.”

Hanley wrote in a statement, “Libby Bierbaum and I are thankful for the opportunity to have had this experience with CMU. We still plan to achieve all of our goals, but on an individual basis. We wish the best to President Linzey and Vice President Gile and hope that their term will benefit CMU.”

Also during the election, different senate seats were filled.

Beau Flores, Jeff Vela, Shelby Cerise and Kyle Wharton ran unopposed as they won the office of student trustee, the office of campus resident senator, the office of minority student senator and the office of computer science, mathematics, respectively.

For the office of health sciences, Lexi Biller, Samantha Gaasch, Catherine Darst and Christina Barefoot were elected. For the office of language, literature and mass communications, Bryce Reedy and Richard Nguyen were elected as both had the same number of votes, 349.

Cheyenne Pace, Erica Pacheco and Cody Armstrong were elected for the office of social and behavioral sciences. Three students ran unopposed as Elise Leonard won the office of disabled student, Jay Shearrow won the office at-large and Maddie Hoffman was elected for the office of graduate students.

For the office of fine and performing arts, Brooklyn Buhre and Jordan Chavez were elected, while for the office of physical, environmental and biological sciences, Makayla Wilcox and Alfonso Detrell were elected.

Kevin Kahuena, Jarrott Brown and John Nachtsheim won the office of professional studies. Andrew Lucero and Jake Wellborn ran unopposed for the office of Montrose campus and the office of WCCC.

Before the election, the campaigns of Linzey/Gile and Hanley/Bierbaum fielded questions on Wednesday for the first and only debate on CMU-TV. The vice presidential candidates spoke first,then were followed by the presidential candidates.

For current ASG President Linzey, the first question he faced was about his predecessor. The Dillinger administration was criticized for overusing their power and executive orders.

Linzey stated that in his time as president, his first executive order was used to have a closer connection to the student body.

“The first executive order I made was for press conferences for every Friday,” Linzey said. “I think it is a starting point for students to be more open for ASG to be on campus.”

Linzey also said other executive orders were related to the limited time the senate had to vote on allocations.

Gile also had to answer a question about Dillinger. While she believes the previous administration was overreaching in their power, she thinks Linzey’s time in office shows the complete opposite.

“Having Ben as president came out to be a real blessing for CMU,” Gile said. “Ben is very cognizant to make executive decisions as a whole.”

Gile was also asked about her inexperience, as she has been a senator for only one semester. While she admitted that she does not have the experience, she believes that her work ethic shows she is prepared for the position.

“I am a very dedicated individual,” Gile said. “I have given my heart and soul to ASG over the past semester.”

Gile also pointed out that she has not missed a meeting and has attended all of her office hours.

The topic of fiscal responsibility was also brought up as the question related to ASG’s past of going over budget.

Linzey said one way the senate has been financially responsible was they cut the budget by 30 percent.

Linzey said his campaign’s goal is for students to be involved in one activity. He listed being in an athletic program, religious group or club as an option for incoming students.

Linzey will begin hiring his executive staff in the coming weeks for the fall 2017 semester.

 

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